DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

Happy Birthday Stefan

For those of you who don’t know, today is Stefan’s Birthday. If you see him, wish him a good day.

Vector and I love you Stefan!




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Our Love Story

Since it is Valentines Day, I thought I’d share a brief version of my love story.

Stefan and I have been married for just over 2 years. In fact, our parents met each other before we did, at Olin College, the school we both attended. As part of the admissions process there is a weekend of interviews called Candidates Weekend. We were prospies (Prospective Students) at CW in February 2006. I don’t think I actually met Stefan at CW though our parents remember each other fondly. They both say some version of “They were the only ones not interested in comparing SAT scores.” Stefan and I met probably the first day at freshmen orientation though I’m not actually sure. Meeting so many people so quickly it’s hard to remember that first day at all.

We were friends and I always liked Stefan. We worked on some projects together and were in the same study session freshmen year, struggling through a very difficult version of freshmen engineering. The curriculum at Olin changes so rapidly that the courses change in name and degree of difficulty from year to year. We were in ECS and it was hard…really hard. Hence the study sessions, also called NINJA sessions…don’t ask.

We started dating late our Sophomore year. Just in time for Stefan to go to Germany for 3 months and me to go to Austin Tx for the summer. We corresponded via email, the 8 hour time difference making things difficult but forcing us to put things in writing made our relationship stronger if anything.

During our senior year, we both kind of had the inclination to stay in the Boston area. We got jobs and apartments nearby. By in May of 2011, a year after our graduation, Stefan asked me to marry him after much subtle and not so subtle hinting on my part. On December 11, 2011 we were married north of Boston in Topsfield MA. Just a week later, we purchased a house in Arlington MA and the following spring we got a kitten, named Vector.

We are now a happy family, two Oliners and a cat with a suitably nerdy physics name.


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Lighting and Hardware of NYC

After getting such a great response from my DC post about lighting and door hardware, I figured I’d keep going.  I can’t be the only person who takes pictures of all the cool hardware at these places but I seem to have found an interesting and unique way to categorize my travels.

Lets start with the Rockets at Radio City Music Hall.  It’s gotta be over the top..It’s gotta be christmassy..It’s gotta be Art Deco Fabulous and it did not dissapoint.

Giant Christmas Tree Chandelier –

AND all the normal art-deco lights!

I mentioned Lillies in my previous post on NYC but here it is again. Every Chandelier was different and all were awesome.

and then there were the Bat sconces…love it!

Cool light I saw somewhere –

The Museum of Natural History has lots of cool lights too –

They couldn’t compete with the lights at the Museums in DC but they made up for it with Dinosaur topiaries!

I found this light down towards Wall Street –

And these two beauties were at the Met –

but they were part of a display so it’s kinda cheating.

Next time we’re in the city I’d like to take a peek at the Library and some of the cool old hotels and see what other neat lighting we can find.

Happy New Year!

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Patching the Parquet Floors

The first floor is almost entirely floored in a beautiful parquet. The edges of all the rooms have a substantial border with two rows of red mahogany inlay.

The parquet in the middle of the room is a cloth-backed material called “wood-carpet” back in the day.  You can read more about parquet and other flooring choices of the 1890s on this wonderful website:

In this image, you can see the fabric backing on a scrap of parquet:


We had lots of scraps of the flooring from when the AC guys put in the floor vents for the heat. I went around a gathered them up knowing we would need to do a good bit of patching work. To remove the little stips of flooring from the subfloor, we used this teensy and cute pry bar but we need new timber flooring luckily timber flooring Melbourne provides all we need.


All except one pair of holes from the old radiators were in the border and not in the parquet itself. We started in the Dining Room.


We use the Fien Tool to carfully cut out the damaged piece of wood.

And after cutting a replacement piece to size, we tacked it in with the finish nailer

Once all the pieces were put in place and tacked in, the floor looked like this:


The imperfections will be sanded out when the floor is refinished. Lookin’ good!

To finish it up, we filled in all the crevices with wood filler. It doesn’t look as good but it should prevent any of the spaces opening up with the sanding.


To do the actual parquet piece is much the same but with more smaller pieces of wood to patch. We also supplemented the finish nails with a dab of construction adhesive since the pieces were so small and we didn’t have much to nail to.




We’ve still got a few spots to patch including a water-damaged corner in the entry way but we’re fixing it with services from Water Restoration USA, but we’re getting very very close to being ready for the floor guys!


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